Posted on: February 26, 2008 10:36 am
Edited on: February 26, 2008 10:22 pm

Last Spring of O's Ball?

This from the Chicago Sun-Times: Apparently, Fukudome hasn't showed much power so far, according to manager Lou Piniella on Sunday. So on Monday, Fukudome went out and smacked three homers. The interesting part is the writer's comparison to Ichiro in his rookie year with Piniella. The former M's manager once asked Ichiro's interpreter if he could pull the ball, after the import hit a number of balls down the third base line. Then Ichiro smoked a shot over the right field fence, came back to the dugout and said, "You happy?"

Here's a link to our latest Fantasy Baseball podcast. Here are some things you will hear when you listen to it: Why catchers rule -- Emack gagging on 27-year-old chocolate balls -- Analysis of Rockies LHP Joe Schmoe -- Bonds and Clemens team up -- Geovany Soto's nickname -- Emack's chest seizing up from digesting old chocolate balls.

Just got back from the Orioles camp ... Dude, it's hot out there. Like Kevin James, I sweated myself a bra. Sorry snowed-in people, but wow, the sun was baking. Anyway, we caught a couple of the final innings of their intrasquad game. When we got there, Adam Jones misplayed a flyball to center field over his head (first starting one way, then turning completely around to the other shoulder) before he weakly fell to the ground with the ball bouncing out of his glove. After he nonchalantly got up and eventually threw the ball in, Ben Davis (who was apparently carrying a piano on his back) chugged in to second base (third base, Emack corrected me). Later in the game, he drew a walk. We anticipated a possible steal to showcase some speed -- but he got doubled up at first base on a liner to second. Roch Kubatko, the O's beat writer with the Sun, also noted that before we got there, he ran into an out, letting a groundball hit his leg while running the basepaths. Needless to say, it was not a great start for the sophomore.

Speaking of rookies, Emack and I brought rookie writer Scott White with us. This kid (23 going on 13) just looks soooo young. He weighs 145, while holding a 100-lb bag of sand. He had to buy an extra ticket for the zit on the end of his nose. That thing was so big a kid grabbed it thinking it was a foul ball. But Scott looked like he enjoyed the trip over there, and Emack's tour of the clubhouse, and he'll be a good guy to get some interviews in this spring.

We're heading over this morning to check out the Orioles' intrasquad game. This could be the last spring training with the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, ending our routine over the past five years of heading over at lunch for some sun 'n fun. Fort Lauderdale Stadium isn't a great park, and it's not among my top fives in Florida even. But seeing spring baseball only a mile away (we can see the stadium from our building's windows) will be missed. Jamey and Emack were talking about the possibilities of the Marlins possibly moving their spring training home here, considering their possible new stadium in Miami, that would make sense.

Emack, Jamey and I have a podcast to do this morning -- we're talking catchers. That's my favorite position in all of sports and Emack frequently makes fun of me for it. I fell in love with the position as a Little Leaguer and high school player. The tools of ignorance? That practically begged me to use them. Catchers are the only players to have the entire view of the field in front of them. They are the only position players that are involved on every pitch. They have to learn pitching as much as they learn hitting. Yet, they are the only ones with their faces masked from fame.

Speaking of tools of ignorance -- I once caught a baseball game as a high schooler without wearing a cup. I left it at home and didn't want to sit. Needless to say, it was my best defensive performance of the season. Speaking of crotch-shots, one of my favorite kid things, was when a teammate got hit in the crotch by a ball when he wasn't paying attention during BP or infield practice. Then we'd all yell, "DING DONG!" because he got his bell rung ... Kids are mean.
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